Monday, July 31, 2017

Cade Napa Valley 2016 Sauvignon Blanc

 
When a white wine
 receives a score of ninety four points,
 it deserves a good explanation!
Don't you think!




Cade Napa Valley 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, $28.04-$32.99, 94 points, poured a very light brass color grading clear toward the glass shallows.
Aromas of grapefruit peel, lemongrass, and just a hint of saffron and vanilla were pleasant whispers.
The light body was both texturally silky and acid-crisp (oxymoron anyone) carrying balanced gossamer flavors of mint, lemongrass, vanilla, and black pepper.
Finished long on the trailing palate and a hint of lime, but the welcoming bright gingery wash was a deep well, and enlivened by an inspirited 14.1% alcohol sealed the wine's brilliance.
Varietals were 95% Sauvignon Blanc,
2% Sauvignon Musqué, 2% Sémillon, and 1% Viognier.
This was a lovely wine that only got better as it warmed a bit, and well worth the $28.
Paired perfectly with my Yellow-fin tuna salad.


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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Cali)


Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Cali)
are slowly arriving in New Hampshire, and as they do I try and pick them up for my inevitable enjoyment (one of my favorite white wines) and JMO reviews. Just because SB is a common/hackneyed varietal doesn't mean they can't be outstandingly great wines (tomorrow's SB is 94 points): versatile, delicious, and mostly reasonably priced, SB is a go-to white wine for me and many others.
 



Cade Napa Valley 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, $28.04-$32.99, 94 points

Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, $21.24-$24.99, 91 points

Charles Krug Peter Mondavi Family Saint Helena-Napa Valley 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, $14.44-$19.99, 88 points

Fitvine 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, $16.19-$17.99, 86 points

Frog's Leap Napa Valley 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, $18.69-$25.99, 92 points

Groth Napa Valley 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, $18.69-$21.99, 92 points

Honig Napa Valley 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, $12.74-$17.99, 91 points

Justin Central Coast 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, $12.74-$16.99, 91 points

Onehope California 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, $8.79-$10.99, 87 points

Rodney Strong Charlotte's Home Northern Sonoma 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, $11.04-$16.99, 91 points

Souverain North Coast 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, $8.99-$11.99, 87 points

St. Supery Napa Valley 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, $18.99-$21.99, 90 points




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Rodney Strong Charlotte's Home Northern Sonoma 2016 Sauvignon Blanc





Rodney Strong Charlotte's Home Northern Sonoma 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, $11.04-$16.99, 91 points, was a light brass color throughout.
Aromas of tangerine peel and fresh-cut grass were good.
Light, crisp, and nicely acidic white wine with flavors which rightly reflected the aromas and a hint of pineapple.
Finished long on the trailing palate, melon rind, a touch of ginger, and an appropriate 13.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my deep-fried Vidalia onion rings and sautéed sea scallops.

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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fritz Dry Creek Valley 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon



Fritz Dry Creek Valley 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, 91 points, was a birthday gift, and the winery price was listed at $50.
Appeared core black grading burgundy purple/red at the broad clear wine ring and glass bowl of significant draping.
The aromas needed considerable swishing and swilling, but shy expressions of black cherry, dusty blackberry, and cedar were pleasant.
The medium-plus body with good acidity and firm drying tannins supported excellent cherry, cola, and a bit of oak flavors (a tasty straight forward Cab).
Finished long on the trailing palate, pomegranate, and a warm 14.5% alcohol inspirited spice.
Paired okay with my meatball sub, but better with my baked fig pastry.
This Cabernet needed decanting.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Fritz Estate Dry Creek 2014 Malbec (USA)







Fritz Estate Dry Creek 2014 Malbec (USA), 88 points, was a birthday gift, but best as I can figure, the price was about $49.99.
Appeared core black grading a deep purple/red near the broad clear wine ring and leggy glass wall.
The bouquet was peppery, floral, and toasty blackberry.
Full-bodied with fair acidity and mellow round tannins carried rich flavors of licorice, plum, and pomegranate.
The floral aroma didn't translate onto the palate for me, but the black pepper extended deep into the fair finish with fig, iron, and an appropriate 14.5% alcohol.
Paired only okay with my BBQ baby back ribs.
Typically a small production wine, and as best I can tell, this Malbec will be a bit difficult to find.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Robert Young Estate Winery 'Scion' Alexander Valley 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon





Robert Young Estate Winery 'Scion' Alexander Valley 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon,
$30.59-$64.99, 93 points, poured an opaque Bordeaux red wine color with a bright clear wine ring and considerable draping.
Aromatic cedar, chocolate, black fruit, and a hint of marjoram were outstanding.
Full-bodied with good acidity and early palate smooth with escalating fine firm tannin managed lovely flavors of mint, black currant, plum, and nuanced with flavors reflective of the aromas.
Finished long on warm spices, truffle, a citrus note, and a spot-on 14.8% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my spice-rubbed rib eye steak.
This Robert Young Bordeaux-styled Cabernet Sauvignon was as good a Alexander Valley Cab as I have ever had.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Frog's Leap Napa Valley 2014 Zinfandel





Frog's Leap Napa Valley 2014 Zinfandel, $25.49-$33.99, 92 points, was the apropos wine to celebrate my blog's seventh anniversary.
With almost three hundred Zinfandel wines reviewed, beginning with Frog's Leap and Green and Red Zin, I must admit that I was right about the quality of the Frog's Leap 2007 Zin seven years ago; Frog's Leap 2014 Zin demonstrates that this winery remains a superior Zinfandel producer.
Frog's Leap Napa Valley 2014 Zinfandel poured a deep ruby grading a more burgundy purple/red toward the moderately broad clear wine ring and bold leggy glass bowl.
Aromatic briar fruit and a smoky plum note were shy, but pleasant.
Medium-bodied with good acidity and a well-balanced underlayment of supportive tannin managed luscious flavors of ripe blackberries, coffee, and hints of pomegranate.
Finished long on the trailing palate, black cherry with easy spice notes, and a typically restrained 13.8% alcohol.
Make no mistake, this is a sophisticated Zinfandel; won't probably wow those that require full-bodied excessive alcohol styled Zins.
Paired perfectly with our loaded pizza.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tortoise Creek 'The Chelonian' Lodi 2012 Zinfandel




Tortoise Creek 'The Chelonian' Lodi 2012 Zinfandel, $7.08-$14.99*, 87 points, poured an opaque ruby red with a clear wine ring and glass bowl of moderate draping.
Smells of fading black cherry and cedar were excellent while they lasted.
Medium-bodied with fair-plus acidity and full soft tannin managed luscious flavors of black cherry, ripe blackberry, and plum notes.
Finished fair on truffle, easy spices, a bit of oak, and a warm 14.5% alcohol.
Paired well with my Sloppy-Joe.
*Price was a Hannaford's of Bedford closeout, making this a very good QPR Zin.



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Monday, July 24, 2017

Antica Napa Valley (Antinori Family Estates) 2014 Chardonnay








Antica Napa Valley (Antinori Family Estates) 2014 Chardonnay, $26.34-$34.99, 91 points, poured a pale straw yellow color.
Aromatic lemon meringue pie, hints of fresh-cut grass, and a floral vibe were excellent.
Medium bodied with good acidity and complex flavors of tropical and yellow stone fruit garnished with lemon and a kiss of oak won over a Chablis lover.
Finished long on ginger, peach, lemon, and a well-balanced 14.1% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our Asian cuisine.

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Fritz Estate Dry Creek Valley 2013 Zinfandel






Fritz Estate Dry Creek Valley 2013 Zinfandel, $17.99-$25.99 (birthday gift), 87 points, poured a deep sienna color with a clear wine ring and leggy glass bowl.
Aromas were a bit herbal with dusty red fruit.
Medium-bodied with good acidity and a soft underlayment of tannin managed a somewhat Primitivo-styled Zinfandel.
More a red fruit (red raspberry) flavor profiled Zinfandel than is typical of Dry Creek, but way tastier than most reviews I've read.
Finished fair on easy spices, herbal, and a touch plumy, having a well-integrated 14.6% alcohol.
Paired fine with my Mexican cuisine.
This Zinfandel needed decanting.

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Vinum Cellars Seashell Vineyard, Paso Robles 2016 Rosé







Vinum Cellars Seashell Vineyard, Paso Robles 2016 Rosé, $10.62-$14.49, 88 points, appeared exactly the color you see in the photograph (salmon pink).
Shy aromas of peach and strawberry were pleasant.
The medium body with fair-plus acidity was about the wine's texture; this is a tactile Rosé steeped in smooth flavors of mild earthy kava and mango.
Finished nicely on the trailing palate, red cherry, and a spot-on 13% alcohol.
Varietals were Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre.
As with most Rosé wines, you'll enjoy this South Rhône-styled Rosé well chilled; there's reasons for those twist-off caps (fresh and 'cold').
Paired perfectly with my Mexican cuisine.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

AVA Grace Vineyards 2015 Sauvignon Blanc






AVA Grace Vineyards 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, $6.79-$10.99, 86 points, poured a light brass color grading clear at the glass shallows.
Aromas of hay with the slightest hint of tomato juice were just okay for me.
Light-bodied with good acidity and grassy flavors highlighted by hints of vanilla, kiwi, peach, and pear were graceful.
Finished long on a gingery note, the trailing palate, and a well-balanced 13.5% alcohol.
Paired fine with my Maritime baked-stuffed lobster.
AVA Grace was a bargain SB at under $7xx.





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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Varner Santa Barbara County el camino vineyard 2014 Chardonnay






Varner Santa Barbara County el camino vineyard 2014 Chardonnay, $21.24-$24.99, 88 points, was a medium dark brass color.
The dominant oak aromas were nuanced with lemon and cantaloupe.
Medium-plus body with fair acidity managed a more pleasant Cali-typical flavor profile than most, lightening-up a bit on the vanilla/caramel notes while lingering lemon and apricot flavors capped-off a moderately restrained 13.8% alcohol.
Paired fine with our honey-roasted chicken wings.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Alvear Solera Cream NV Pedro Ximenez, Montilla-Moriles (Spain)




Alvear Solera Cream NV Pedro Ximenez, Montilla-Moriles (Spain), $12.99-$16.99, 87 points, needed to be decanted, but poured a cloudy fig flesh color.
Profuse aromas of raisins and plum wine were pleasant.
Full-bodied, sweet, but not cloying, fairly acidic, and carried complex flavors of plums, figs, raisins, and apricots.
Finished on a declining palate, and an escalating 18% alcohol.
Tasted with several desserts, but was quite overpowering; paired better with nuts, and best as a type of proprietary liqueur or an aperitif.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Chateau Montelena Napa Valley 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon





 
 
Chateau Montelena Napa Valley 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, $42.49-$59.99, 92 points, appeared an opaque Bordeaux red wine color with a broad clear wine ring and sheeted glass.
Aromatic black currants, toasty black cherry jam, and lovely cedar notes impressed.
Near full-bodied with good acidity and firm fine tannins carried energized cola, pomegranate, and other flavors reflective of the aromas.
Finished long and tart on the trailing palate, white pepper, plum notes, and a well-integrated 14.2% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my pepper-burgers. 
 
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Monday, July 17, 2017

Gehricke (The Other Guys) Sonoma Valley 2013 Zinfandel









Gehricke (The Other Guys) Sonoma Valley 2013 Zinfandel, $22.09-$27.99, 92 points, poured ruby red toward the broad clear wine ring and glass bowl of moderate draping.
This lovely, elegant, smooth, aromatic (juniper, ripe warm blackberry, and cocoa), and clean Zinfandel is of the type that converts nonbelieving Cabernetphiles.
The medium-plus body with good acidity and supportive undercurrent of tannin deftly delivered delicious flavors of red and black fruit with nuanced sweet cooking herbs.
Finished long on the trailing palate, damson plum, citrus, easy warm spices, pencil lead, and a spot-on 14.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our Mexican cuisine.
.
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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Beringer Main & Vine NV Merlot

 
 
 



Beringer Main and Vine NV Merlot, $4.00-$6.00, 84+ points, poured a bright sienna color with a very broad clear wine ring and a lightly draped glass bowl.
Shy aromas were toasty, herbal, and nuanced with a blueberry note.
Medium-bodied (a bit cloying) with barely fair acidity and easy tannins carried okay flavors of red raspberry, blueberry, and a hint of citrus.
Finished okay on easy spices, a hint of red licorice, mint, and a restrained 13.5% alcohol.
Paired well with our loaded pizza.
I bought this Merlot at the Market Basket of Bedford.
Comments: Reminded me of what I'd call an 'industrial' wine which was sufficiently tasty and serviceable for large gatherings or events; won't wow anyone, but might just save your budget (QPR was good).

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Alexander Valley Vineyards Alexander Valley 2014 Merlot





Alexander Valley Vineyards Alexander Valley 2014 Merlot, $15.99-$19.99, 89 points, poured a deep ruby red with a broad clear wine ring and a leggy glass bowl.
Smells were herbal, earthy, and floral with hints of cedar, plum, and black currant.
Near full-bodied with good acidity and a sweet soft underlayment of tannin managed flavors reflective of the aromas.
Finished well on the trailing palate, juicy tangy blackberry, easy spice notes, and a well-balanced 14% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our loaded pizza.
Want an excellent Merlot under $20? Look no further!

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Charles Krug Napa Valley 2013 Merlot








Charles Krug Napa Valley 2013 Merlot, $17.84-$24.99, 90 points, poured an opaque and slightly cloudy ruby red toward the broad clear wine ring and glass bowl of light draping.
Smells began beautifully with a cedar potpourri highlighted with blackberry, cocoa, and a floral vibe.
Medium-plus body with good acidity and soft round tannins managed rich, though marked by a mild mid palate fade, flavors of blackberry, cedar, mint, cola, and violets.
Finished well on the trailing palate, plum, tobacco, white pepper, and a touch of Sambuca (14.9% alcohol).
Varietals were a Bordeaux styled 86% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Malbec, and 1% Cabernet Franc.
Paired nicely without linguini and meatballs in a marinara sauce.

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Frog's Leap Napa Valley 2016 Sauvignon Blanc







Frog's Leap Napa Valley 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, $18.69-$25.99, 92 points, poured a light brass color.
Smells of fresh-cut grass and hay were distinctive.
Light, crisp, stony, and a clean white wine with mouthwatering acidity, all of which gave great gravitas to the interesting flavor notes of tangerine, grapefruit, peach, and that fresh-cut grass.
Finished long on the trailing palate, a touch of ginger, and an easy 12.8% alcohol.

A beautiful and sophisticated expression of this varietal.
Paired perfectly with my Key lime pie

This is why Frog's Leap is a "Go to Winery."

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Cline Contra Costa County Live Oak Vineyard 2013 Zinfandel




Cline Contra Costa County Live Oak Vineyard 2013 Zinfandel, $12.74-$36.99, 90 points, poured a deep rose red color with abundant tears and a clear wine ring.
Aromas of blackberry, shoe leather, a floral note, and chocolate hints were interesting.
Medium-plus body with good acidity and an supportive underlayment of tannin managed well the dominant Damson plum flavor with mulberry and lingonberry notes.
Finished incredibly long on the 16% alcohol (some will find objectionable) inspirited hot spices and licorice.
Paired fine with my American Chop Suey.

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